The Anchorage Daily News asked candidates for U.S. House running in the special primary election to answer a series of questions. Read all of their responses here.
JEFF LOWENFELS*, nonpartisan from Anchorage
What in your background qualifies you to represent Alaskans in Congress?
While I’m best known as a gardener I’m so much more. My work as a natural resource attorney with an extensive background in permitting and lobbying affords great talent in overcoming federal bureaucratic hurdles. I’ve also helped build numerous Alaska businesses and mentored local entrepreneurs.
Why are you running for U.S. Congress in Alaska?
I am confident that I have the skills to carry on Don Young’s legacy of making sure Alaska’s interests are remembered during the House legislative process and to assist Alaskans working with the federal government. I confident I can stay above the fray which seems to be consuming our two-party system.
What would be your top priority if elected to Congress?
Remain vigilant in ensuring Alaskan interests are not overlooked during the federal legislative process and acting as a multi-office gateway to help Alaskans deal with the federal bureaucracy.
What is your position on abortion?
I believe very strongly that it is a woman’s sole right to control her own body and choose what she wants; it is none of the government’s business what a woman decides to do with her body.
If legislation came before the U.S. House that would guarantee the same abortion rights nationwide as the Roe v. Wade decision, how would you vote?
If you support abortion rights, what limitations, if any, do you think should be placed on those rights, such as waiting periods or a specific point in a pregnancy where abortion should no longer be legal?
It must be a woman’s right to choose, so return to the language in Roe, keep the stare decisis portion of Casey, and get rid of the added restrictions set out there.
Would you support a bill, if it came before the House, to expand the size of the U.S. Supreme Court? Why or why not?
No. Packing the court is only a temporary fix that could ultimately backfire, but I am strongly in favor of term limits for Supreme Court justices (as well as House and Senate seats).
What do you think should be done by the federal government to address mass shootings?
Increase funding for mental health, do away with the filibuster to pass comprehensive gun control legislation (with universal background check and license requirements before purchasing a gun). We need to have a hard conversation about the Second Amendment.
Do you support gun control legislation? If so, what kind of measures would you support? If not, why not?
I have a bullet in my neck — I was shot when I was 24 by five little kids. Yes, it is obvious we need a better way: universal background checks for all, including private shows, require a license for purchase, reinstate manufacturer liability, impose strong red flag laws.
*Note: Lowenfels is one of several candidates who are also running in Alaska’s regular U.S. House primary election in August.